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Written Answers

Volume 656: debated on Monday 26 March 1962

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Written Answers To Questions

Monday, 26th March, 1962

North Atlantic Council (Discussions)


asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will propose to the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation that the Council shall make public statements on discussions held, decisions taken and recommendations made, on subjects which lie outside the field of military security.

Congo (Mr D Gauden)


asked the Lord Privy Seal what action he is taking in respect of Mr. Derek Gauden, a British subject, who is being detained at Makala in the Congo without any charge being brought against him; and when he expects to secure his release.

Her Majesty's Consul at Leopoldville has been persistently pressing for action to be taken on Mr. Gauden's file, and on 23rd March the Minister of the Interior signed an authority for his repatriation to be proceeded with. I understand that he left Leopoldville last night and arrived in the United Kingdom this morning.

Europe And Africa (Economic Relations)


asked the Lord Privy Seal what steps he is taking to encourage direct conversation, through Her Majesty's ambassadors in the African countries concerned, between the associated overseas territories of the European Economic Community and Commonwealth countries in Africa regarding future economic relationships between Europe and Africa.

Her Majesty's Government hope that the economic interests of the African countries associated with the European Economic Commission and those of the African members of the Commonwealth can be reconciled, but it is, of course, for the countries concerned to arrange for consultations among themselves, if they consider this desirable.

Vietnam (Military Operations)


asked the Lord Privy Seal what discussions have taken place between Her Majesty's Government, as co-Chairman of the Geneva Conference, and the United States Government on the use of United States service men in military operations in Southern Vietnam.

Disarmament Conference

asked the Lord Privy Seal what concessions have been offered by the United Kingdom and United States Governments with a view to achieving a nuclear test ban at the Geneva Conference; and to what extent progress has been made towards an agreement on this matter.

The treaty put forward by the two Governments in April, 1961, excluded certain small underground tests which could not be detected with existing seismic instruments. Although the Soviet Government agreed to this limitation, it expressed a preference for a treaty which would prohibit all tests without exception. The major concession the two Governments offered the Soviet Government on 15th March was to make the treaty a comprehensive one. That is one to cover all tests. They have also made compromise proposals covering a number of other points.No progress has been made towards agreement because the Soviet Government have refused to accept any form of international inspection or verification.

Agriculture, Fisheries And Food

Pumping Station, Huish-Episcopi (Tender)


asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give early approval of the tender for a new pumping station for the Somerset River Board at Huish-Episcopi, details of which were submitted to his Department in October.

I am glad to say that the tender for the pumping station has now been approved.

Milk And Beer (Consumption)


asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated average consumption per adult person per week of milk and beer, respectively; and what is their average cost per pint.

Adult consumption of liquid milk in private households is estimated to be just over 5 pints per week, at an average cost of 8¼d. per pint, for the twelve months ended 30th September last. Consumption of beer in the United Kingdom in 1961 averaged just over 4 pints weekly per head of the population aged 20 and over; the average price was about 1s. 6d. per pint.

Pensions And National Insurance

Retirement Pensioners (National Assistance)


asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what was the number of persons in receipt of retirement pensions receiving supplementary allowances from the National Assistance Board at the latest convenient date; and what was the comparable figure for the same date in 1961.

The latest figure available is for December, 1961. As I told the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy Burghs (Mr. Gourlay) on 19th February, that figure is 1,056,000. The figure for December, 1960, is not comparable as it includes some recipients of widow's benefit. But the comparable figure for March, 1961, is 1,079,000.

National Assistance


asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what have been the consequences of changing the description of National Assistance in the payment books issued to the recipients.

It is not, I am afraid, possible to isolate the effects of this change from those of the other measures which the National Assistance Board have taken in recent years for the same purpose. The Board tells me, however, that the general effect of these measures has been to diminish appreciably the reluctance which may have prevented some people in genuine need from applying to it for help. I would like to add the Board's acknowledgements, and my own, of the help we have received in this from hon. Members.

Ministry Of Power

Coal (Price)


asked the Minister of Power whether he will issue a general direction to the National Coal Board prohibiting any further increase in the price of coal before 1965.

Electricity Distribution System, Immingham


asked the Minister of Power if he will investigate the reason for the number of recent electricity power cuts in the Immingham district, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Louth; and what action is being taken to prevent recurrence of such cuts in the future.

The electricity distribution system in Immingham is old and overloaded. Faults or the consequences of accident cannot now be easily isolated, nor supplies provided through alternative circuits. Some of the lines are liable to damage by lightning. My hon. Friend wrote to me about the breakdowns on 17th and 18th March, which were caused by the failure of a joint box. The Board is reinforcing the system and expects to complete part of the work in about a month and the rest before the end of the year. This should greatly reduce the risk of breakdowns.

Indigenous Light Hydrocarbon Oils (Preference)


asked the Minister of Power what plans he has for Government assistance to industry in respect of indigenous light hydrocarbon oils.

As the House knows, Her Majesty's Government is under international obligation to eliminate the duty preference of 1s. 3d. a gallon on indigenous light hydrocarbon oils. The Government therefore intend to ask Parliament to withdraw the preference not later than 1964. Representations from the industries concerned have been carefully considered, and the Government have decided they would not be justified in proposing a subsidy to replace the preference.

Domestic Fuel (Prices)

asked the Minister of Power if he is aware of public concern about the prices of domestic fuel; and whether he will make a statement on his policy with regard to the price of domestic fuel in the future.

I share the concern of the public that domestic fuel prices, and indeed fuel prices generally, should be as low as practicable. Competition among the various fuels, including those provided by nationalised industries, operates in this direction, but each of these industries has to pay its way.

Ministry Of Aviation

Airports (Runways)


asked the Minister of Aviation whether, before local authorities are asked to assume responsibility for airports, he will ensure that Turnhouse has runways capable of accepting Vanguards and possible future aircraft without the present diversions due to the lack of a second runway.

No. Diversions due to lack of a second runway are too few to justify the cost of a new runway.

Ministry Of Health

Nurses (Pay)


asked the Minister of Health whether he will make a statement concerning the correspondence from nurses about pay sent to him by the hon. Member for Cardiff, West.

I cannot trace any such correspondence, apart from a letter which the hon. Member forwarded to me on 14th February, and which my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary returned with a reply on 28th February.


asked the Minister of Health what recent communication he has had from the Royal College of Nursing concerning the relation of nurses' salaries to those of other professions; and what reply he has sent.


asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to get the Whitley Council to meet at an early date to consider the application for increases in wages made by the nurses and mid-wives in July last.


asked the Minister of Health to what extent he proposes to continue to give guidance to the management side of the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council after the cessation of the pay pause on 1st April.


asked the Minister of Health what further negotiations have taken place in the past two weeks in connection with the nurses' and mid-wives' salary claim; and if he will make a statement.

I understand that, at a meeting of the Whitley Council on 13th March, the Staff Side rejected the Management Side's offer.

Nurses (Hours Of Work)


asked the Minister of Health if he is satisfied that the working week of 44 hours for nursing staff is being maintained; what supplementary staff is necessary to sustain the 44-hour week; and whether he will make a statement.

The great majority of nurses are working the 88-hour fortnight. Exceptions are steadily diminishing.

Nurses (Recruitment)


asked the Minister of Health what steps are being taken to deal with the urgent need for trained nurses in the hospital service; what is now the main deterrent to effective recruitment; and whether he will make a statement.

Lung Cancer (Deaths)

asked the Minister of Health what were the numbers of deaths from lung cancer per thousand in 1960 in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and rural England and Wales, respectively.

Following are the figures:

AreaRate per thousand persons living
London Administrative County0·702
Manchester County Borough0·669
Birmingham County Borough0·547
Cardiff County Borough0·415
All Rural Districts in England and Wales0·356

Dental Health Service

asked the Minister of Health what was the ratio of fillings to extractions in the dental health service for each of the past ten years.

The ratio of permanent teeth filled to permanent teeth extracted was:

1952not available

asked the Minister of Health what percentage of the total cost of the dental health service was comprised by the costs of the Dental Estimates Boards in each of the last three financial years.

The cost of the English and Scottish Dental Estimates Boards as a percentage of the gross expenditure on general dental services in Great Britain was as follows:

per cent.


Agency Nurses


asked the Minister of Health how many agency nurses were employed in the hospital service on the most recent date for which figures are available; what was the total cost of agency nurses to the service in the last year for which figures are available; and how the average weekly cost to the service of an agency nurse compares with the minimum and maximum salaries of a staff nurse.

At 30th June, 1961, hospitals were authorised to employ up to a total of 388 agency nurses, but some did not employ as many as authorised. The other information is not available.

Tonsilectomy Operations, Tamworth


asked the Minister of Health how many urgent and how many other tonsilectomies are recorded at Tamworth as requiring action; and, of these, how many are scheduled for operation at the Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield.

Three; 229; the place of operation is decided when final arrangements are made.

Royal Gwent Hospital

asked the Minister of Health (1) how many beds are available in the Royal Gwent Hospital for persons being treated in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department; and if he will make a statement;(2) what is the number of persons on the waiting list for surgical treatment in the Ear, Nose and Throat Department of the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Thirty beds are available. The waiting list is 380, having fallen by a hundred since the end of 1960. Intended improvements of the hospital services in this area are outlined in Command Paper 1604.

County Hospital, Griffithstown, And Royal Gwent Hospital

asked the Minister of Health what is the number on the waiting lists for admission to the Ophthalmic Department of the County Hospital and the Royal Gwent Hospital, respectively.

asked the Minister of Health, what is the number of beds available for patients receiving ophthalmic treatment at the County Hospital, Griffithstown, and the Royal Gwent Hospital, respectively.

Hospitals (Visits)

asked the Minister of Health how many provincial hospitals he and the Parliamentary Secretary have each visited since they took up their appointments.

Hospitals visited outside Greater London
Minister (since July 1960)52
Parliamentary Secretary (since October 1959)55

Nursing Staff

asked the Minister of Health what are the average weekly net earnings for trained nursing staff at the conclusion of their training; and what are the comparable earnings for ward orderlies and other untrained or part-trained hospital staff when they have been in the hospital service three years.

A three-year trained staff nurse receives £10 1s. 4d. on a rising scale; a ward orderly a fixed £9 12s. 8d. (men) or £7 6s. 6d. (women) with additions for overtime, shift, week-end and night duty, and an unqualified nursing auxiliary £8 1s. 1d. (men and women) on a rising scale. I have no information on net earnings.


Pakistani Immigrants

asked the Minister of Labour how many Pakistani immigrants are employed in England and Wales, and how many in High Wycombe.

Disabled Persons


asked the Minister of Labour what was the number of disabled persons registered for employment at employment exchanges at the latest convenient date in March; and what was the comparative figure on the same date in 1961.

I will publish the figure for March in the OFFICIAL REPORT as soon as it becomes available later this week. On 20th February, 1962, there were 53,165 disabled persons registered as unemployed, compared with 50,346 in February, 1961.

The West Indies (Federation)


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what recent representations he has received from the territorial Governments of the West Indies, other than Jamaica and Trinidad, about the future of the Federation.

The Conference of the Chief Ministers of the Leeward and Windward Islands and the Premier of Barbados have forwarded to me a resolution requesting me to summon a conference of their eight units before the dissolution of the existing Federation to make arrangements for the establishment of a new Federation.

British Army

Soldiers, Royal Horse Artillery (Retention)


asked the Secretary of State for War on what date persons serving in the 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, who may be eligible for retention under the Army Reserve Act and concerning whom the hon. Member for South Buckinghamshire wrote to him on 22nd March, 1962, were informed of whether or not they would be retained for service under the provisions of that Act.

These soldiers were given formal notice of their liability as soon as possible after the Army Reserve Act, 1962 became law. As I have already told the House, before the Bill became law preliminary warnings should have been sent to all those affected at least eight weeks before their normal date of release.

National Finance

Non-Industrial Civil Servants (Pensions)

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the number of pensions now in payment to non-industrial civil servants who retired prior to 1st April, 1952, and during each of the following years up to 31st March, 1959, respectively.

Year of RetirementRetired OfficersDependantsTotals
Before 1st April, 195241,00012,00053,000

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated initial cost of raising all non-industrial civil service pensions of earlier date than 1st April, 1959, to the level of corresponding pensions of that date; and what is the estimated subsequent annual reduction in such cost.

£11 million in the first year, with an average annual reduction of about £½ million in the first five years. To apply this principle to the public services generally and the Armed Forces would cost £70 million in the first year.


Inverness County Council (Water Supplies)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list by name the townships in South Uist and Benbecula still without water supply, and those of them which Inverness County Council does not propose to supply until 1965 or later.

SchemeEstimated CostTownships to be served
1. Elgol21,000Elgol.
2. Staffin II45,000Elishader, Raisaburgh, Valtos, Culnaknock, Lonfearn, Breckerey, Grealim, Lealt, Dunans, Flodigarry.
3. Glenurquhart10,000Filtration scheme; no new areas served.
4. Tarbet36,670Tarbet, Oban, Urgha Beg, Urgha Mhor, Carragrich.
5. Spean Bridge6,000Filtration scheme; no new areas served.
6. Glendale78,200Skinidin, Colbost, Leinish, Totaig, Uig, Borcraig, Galtrigill, Fasach, Glashvin, Feriniquarrie, Lephin, Holmisdal, Pollosgan, Hamaraverin, Borodal, Upper and Lower Millovaig.

The following townships in South Uist and Benbecula are still without a public water supply. Inverness County Council is not yet able to say when schemes to serve these areas can be put in hand.

South UistBenbecula
East KilbrideRossinish
West KilbrideIsland Flodday
South GlendaleUskavach
South LochboisdaleLedistrome
North GlendaleCraigstrome
Loch EynortArd Cumhang
Loch Skiport

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give a list of water supply schemes to be put in hand during 1962–63 by Inverness County Council, including the order of priority in starting, the estimated cost of each scheme, and the names of the townships to be supplied by each scheme.

Ministry Of Defence

Nuclear Deterrent (Cost)

asked the Minister of Defence what is the total proportion of defence expenditure which is spent on the provision of the British nuclear deterrent, taking into account, in addition to means of delivery and pay of personnel, the expenditure on strategic, tactical and defensive nuclear weapons, on the defence of the deterrent power, and on research and production for nuclear weapons and their means of delivery carried out by the Atomic Energy Authority and the Ministry of Aviation.

It would not be in the public interest to disclose detailed information about research development or production of nuclear weapons. The cost of the strategic deterrent is about 10 per cent. of the defence budget.

Local Government

Rates (Revaluation)

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will give details of the calculations he has made regarding the relationship between the increased rate deficiency grants and the householders' share of the rates following revaluation in 1963.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the White Paper on Revaluation for Rates in 1963, Cmnd. 1663, and, in particular, to the general explanation given in paragraph 5 of the notes to Appendix III.


Diesel-Engined Road Vehicles

asked the Minister of Transport if his attention has been called to the volume of cancer-producing benzypyrene discharged into the air by diesel-engined vehicles; and what action he proposes to take to check this increasing danger to health.

I have studied with interest the work of the Medical Research Council on air pollution in bus garages and the Blackwall Tunnel. While it is reassuring that even in such conditions the concentrations of 3:4 benzypyrene from both petrol and diesel engines are so low, I hope that the measures we are taking to reduce the amount of black smoke caused by imperfect combustion will also reduce still further the emission of all polycyclic hydrocarbons.


Regional Colleges Of Further Education

asked the Minister of Education if he will state the number of technical colleges in England and Wales at present recognised as regional colleges, the names of all such technical colleges, and the dates when they were so designated.

The following twenty-one colleges are at present recognised as regional colleges but I am reviewing the list in consultation with the regional advisory councils for further education. Seventeen of these colleges were included in the first list compiled in 1956, and four were added between 1956 and 1959.

Brighton Technical College.
Huddersfield College of Technology.
Leicester College of Technology and Commerce.
Liverpool College of Building.
Liverpool College of Technology.


City, Sir John Cass College.
Islington, Northern Polytechnic.
Lambeth L.C.C., Brixton School of Building
Southwark—Borough Polytechnic
St. Marylebone, The Polytechnic.
Woolwich Polytechnic.
*Middlesex,—Brunel College of Technology.
Nottingham and District Technical College.
Portsmouth College of Technology.
Plymouth and Devonport Technical College.
Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire College of Technology.
Sunderland Technical College.
Surrey, Kingston Technical College.
Warwickshire, Rugby College of Engineering Technology.
West Ham College of Technology.


Treforest—Glamorgan College of Technology.

* To be designated a College of Advanced Technology on 1st April, 1962.

asked the Minister of Education if he will state the number of students at the advanced, intermediate, and school levels, respectively, doing full-time courses, part-time day and evening courses, and part-time evening only courses, in the session 1960–61 or during the latest session for which figures are available, at each of the regional technical colleges in England and Wales.

The categories of "intermediate" and "school" student mentioned by the hon. Member are distinguished

Brighton Technical College5272898161438151
Huddersfield College of Technology94814901286134
Leicester College of Technology and Commerce1325616932323
Liverpool College of Building44138182474491
Liverpool College of Technology17222039211335148
City, Sir John Cass College650650
Islington, Northern Polytechnic22947570455459
Lambeth L.C.C., Brixton School of Building65163228209209
Southwark, Borough Polytechnic73153226146146
St. Marylebone, The Polytechnic6519131,56488
Woolwich Polytechnic211449660138138
Middlesex, Brunel College of Technology6511401401
Nottingham and District Technical College30821121312133
Portsmouth College of Technology23143366414320163
Plymouth and Devonport Technical College217488705
Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire College of Technology261962228521106
Sunderland Technical College509292801150150
Surrey, Kingston Technical College251499750140140
Warwickshire, Rugby College of Engineering Technology406406
West Ham College of Technology23217340534135
Treforest, Glamorgan College of Technology5527527302
* Students in sandwich courses, because of substantial enrolment in them in the spring term, have been counted from sessional enrolment data up to March, 1961.

only for the purpose of payments between local education authorities. Other records are made in terms of students in "advanced" and "non-advanced" courses, and the following table shows the numbers on this basis enrolled at each of the twenty-one Regional Colleges of Further Education in England and Wales in October, 1960:

CollegePart-time DayEvening only
Brighton Technical College2413946352281,4001,628
Huddersfield College of Technology4693,1113,5804003,5423,942
Leicester College of Technology and Commerce2512,9773,2282883,0533,341
Liverpool College of Building3786451,023400312712
Liverpool College of Technology5961,1221,7184779981,475
City, Sir John Cass College1812254061421,0121,154
Islington, Northern Polytechnic3076489552131,8492,062
Lambeth L.C.C., Brixton School of Building5881,2821,8705441,0631,607
Southwark, Borough Polytechnic3302,1182,4483413,0073,348
St. Marylebone, The Polytechnic2306448741,5216,7268,247
Woolwich Polytechnic3669451,3113401,5741,914
Middlesex, Brunel College of Technology53996635212303515
Nottingham and District Technical College7572,5083,2654492,3282,777
Portsmouth College of Technology304444748258618876
Plymouth and Devonport Technical College1501,6021,7522412,1372,378
Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire College of Technology3293,0693,3981931,1911,384
Sunderland Technical College2138171,0301542,0342,188
Surrey, Kingston Technical College5621,4221,9844151,8782,293
Warwickshire, Rugby College of Engineering Technology44277172229
West Ham College of Technology1429031,0451171,1751,292
Treforest, Glamorgan College of Technology4386631,10189276365

European Youth Centre

asked the Minister of Education what action he has taken regarding the establishment of a European youth centre at Strasbourg.

The proposal to establish a European Youth Centre at Strasbourg was discussed by the Conference of Senior Officials on Youth Questions of Members States of the Council of Europe early in 1961 and subsequently by its Co-ordinating Committee. On each occasion my Department was represented. The newly established Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe referred the financial implications to the Committee of Ministers which has postponed consideration until its next meeting. Further consideration of the technical aspects was due to take place at a meeting in Strasbourg last week at which a member of my Department was present.